Surprise at Ningle Terrace, Furano, Hokkaido, Japan

The original weather forecast didn’t include snow; snow started melting early February instead of mid-March. Still, since “setting sail” for Sapporo, how we wished the Lord would let it snow. As if on cue after setting foot at the Ningle Terrace parking lot, we were suddenly startled by a sweet snow surprise… …❄️which set the…

Doglsedding in Hokkaido

Our Plan B (Panakip Butas) activity turned out to be our best Hokkaido experience! I had the day’s itinerary planned out but was informed that our main destination, the ropeway to Hokkaido’s tallest mountain located in Daisetsuzan National Park,  Mount Asahidake, might be closed. We would hire a car to take us on a six-hour…

Snowshoeing on Grouse Mountain

Just a seventeen-minute drive from our downtown hotel, Grouse Mountain— the Peak of Vancouver— has grand nature trek possibilities throughout the four seasons. Heidi takes me on a snow trip, my first in over thirty years! Her annual pass affords us some lead over the holiday crowds… …plus half off for my entrance ticket and…

Birds’ Feathers

I just about froze this morning as we dared the winds while exploring the Vancouver Waterfront. I realized that the Extra Warm Heatteach of Uniqlo did not warm me. I needed to upgrade to the ULTRA WARM Heattech thermals for me not to freeze. Then, we come across this happy little bird frolicking in a…

From Storm Survivors to International Performers: REO Brothers

With the shirts on their backs, guitars on their hands, this foursome brothers survived the fury of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan); as REO Brothers band, they might just take the world by storm! I had the opportunity to meet them as they provided the dance music for a 1960’s Beatles-themed party. (Their band name honors their parents,…

Mac OSX Mountain Lion Screensaver: Biei Blue Pond, Hokkaido

In 1988, the tallest volcano in the Tokachi Volcanic Group from Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaidō in Japan— Mount Tokachi— erupted.  In order to protect the nearby town of Biei from mudflows, Biei River was treated.  This process accidentally put colloidal aluminium hydroxide in the water which then caused the water to turn this gorgeous hue of blue. So grateful that despite…

Arima Onsen 1: The Lodge Arima Resort

After surviving the fast-paced crowd walks in train stations and shopping hallways in nearby busy cities, Japan also has these sweet blissful havens surrounded by nature where you can detoxify and chillax 🙂 Case in point… Kobe is the sixth largest city in Japan but behind its famed Mount Rokko, the historical hot spring town…

Grape-Picking at Kobe Fruit Flower Park

Kobe Fruit Flower Park is a lovely family destination with a ride park, go-kart, farm circus, fairy tale amusement park, Monkeys Theater, Forest of Horse Land, farm bus, putter golf, onsen, pool plaza, restaurants, farm circus market, plant factory, greenhouse, agricultural product processing plant, souvenir shop, and my favorite— gardens and fruit picking! The garden landscape…

Rickshaw Experience

With the urgency to get back to my city base, I didn’t want to walk to the Kurashiki Train Station (where a Shinkansen to Kobe/ Osaka is available).  Hisako-san and I had been seeing rickshaws around the Bikan Historical Quarter. I thought perhaps one of the rickshaw (rikisha) drivers would agree. Momo-san did! And he…

Grace at Ryokan Kurashiki

  After I booked my Voyagin Tour (Thank you for the recommendation Talltaleboe.wordpress.com) to Kurashiki, I got an email introducing me to my tour guide, Hisako Kashihara. Hisako-san was very helpful; we started coordinating our plan for my visit; upon my request, she recommended a lunch place… Ryokan Kurashiki. I was able to reserve my choice…

Ivy Square, Kurashiki

During the Edo Period, the site of today’s Ivy Square used to be the office for the local magistrate, representing the Shogunate which governed Japan. Later on, this became the site for Japan’s first cotton mill owned by Ōhara Magosaburō, an influential and beloved Kurashiki native who owned several business concerns and would later donate several…

Bikan Historical Quarter, Kurashiki

Sword-wielding samurai’s used to tread these Kurashiki streets back in the Edo period when the Shogunate controlled this port town whose canal was the main thoroughfare for transporting goods to and fro. The Bikan Historical Quarter has been recognized as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings, its storehouses made characteristically with white walls…

Wabi-Sabi: Beauty in Imperfection

Love this beauty concept: Wabi-sabi (侘寂) -Japanese lifestyle of “finding beauty in the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay; Beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete; includes asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.” … How very…

Walk on Stars, Tokyo

Walk on 🌟 in Tokyo! . Here just by Tokyo station, lights were meticulously installed on the pavement’s stone with a timer to let them twinkle like stars!!! ⭐️ 🌟 💫 . On the papers today was the Indonesia tsunami and that reminded me of how the bible says that The Lord speaks through nature…

Rainy Day in Tokyo

TQ (Tea Queue) on Ginza stroll. 🚶‍♀️ This day has been all rainy. Couldn’t help but count yesterday’s blessing that when I had signed up for the Hitachi Seaside Park tour to see the kochia (KO kya) field, the Lord gave all-day sun ☀️. Thank You for Your graces, Lord! . . . . #tea…